Michele Jacobsen


PhD - Educational Psychology

University of Calgary

MSc - Educational Psychology

University of Calgary

BEd - Secondary Education

University of Calgary

BA - English

University of Calgary

Contact information


Office: 403.220.4123

Web presence

Michele Jacobsen

Research and Scholarly Activity

Research areas

  • Academic and intellectual engagement
  • Action research
  • Case study research
  • Design based research
  • Educational technology
  • Learning sciences
  • Online learning communities
  • Participatory media and learning cultures
  • Technology and teacher education
  • User-centered design


Dr. Michele Jacobsen's program of research focuses on learning, technology, change and innovation. Dr. Jacobsen is a Learning Scientist who embraces and promotes inquiry on complex learners, learning systems and learning technologies in K-12, higher education, and health care using participatory research methodologies well-suited to evaluating change and innovation in education, such as design-based research and action research. Dr. Jacobsen analyzes, creates and evaluates innovative designs for learning that shift instruction from standardized delivery & testing towards open learning designs and participatory pedagogies that sponsor knowledge building and intellectual engagement. Current research collaborations focus on the power of peer mentorship for graduate students and post-doctorate scholars, caring professions education and practice, science and technology communication, and design-based research on the Quality Graduate Supervision MOOC (https://taylorinstitute.ucalgary.ca/QGS).

Funded Research Projects:

  • Caring professions education and practice: Meeting today’s workforce demands. SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis Grant. Nowell, Oddone-Paolucci, Jacobsen, Lorenzetti & Lorenzetti
  • Inter-institutional Faculty Development for Online Graduate Supervision. Funded: SSHRC Connection Grant. Jacobsen, Alharbi, Fraser & Reckseidler-Zenteno.
  • Improving the Ability of Science and Technology Researchers to Communicate Using Skills from Arts to Social Sciences. Funded: SSHRC Insight Development Grant. Dunn, Jacobsen, Shanahan, Cahill, Beattie, Christie, Johnson, Berreth & Pontifex.
  • Examining the Use of Open Pressbooks for Student Engagement and Learning through Co-Design Participatory Pedagogical Processes. Funded: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Collaborative Grant, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary. Barb Brown, Verena Roberts, Michele Jacobsen and Christie Harrell.
  • Enhancing Faculty Development for Graduate Supervision in an Interdisciplinary Online Learning Community.  Funded: Teaching Scholars Grant, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary. Michele Jacobsen and Hawazen Alharbi
  • Graduate Supervision in a Blended Doctoral Program: Mentoring Dissertation Research on Changes and Innovations in Practice. Michele Jacobsen and Sharon Friesen.
  • Promoting Mental Health Through Peer Mentorship.  Funded: Campus Mental Health Strategy Grant, University of Calgary. Diane Lorenzetti, Lorelli Nowell, Elizabeth Paolucci, Liza Lorenzetti, Michele Jacobsen, Tracey Clancy, and Tara Christie.
  • Examining the Use of Open Pressbooks for Student Engagement and Learning through Co-Design Participatory Pedagogical Processes .  Funded with a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Collaborative Grant, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary. Barb Brown, Verena Roberts, Michele Jacobsen & Christie Hurrell
  • M&E/Scientific Advisory Committee: Connecting Families Initiative, Computers for Success Canada (CFSC), Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), Government of Canada. National Research Team: PI (UMontreal), Collin (UQAM), Irvine (Victoria), Jacobsen (Calgary), Middleton (Ryerson), Simon (UMontreal), Venkatesh (Concordia), Harper-Merrett, Brouillet, Matsuo. 
  • Improving Student Research Activities in Online Course-Based Master's Programs in  Education. Funded: University of Calgary Teaching and Learning Collaborative Team Grant. Barb Brown, Mairi McDermott, Marlon Simmons, Sarah Eaton, Michele Jacobsen.
  • An Exploration of Peer Mentorship In Graduate Education. Funded: University of Calgary Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant. Diane Lorenzetti, Elizabeth Paolucci, Liza Lorenzetti, Tracey Clancy, Michele Jacobsen, and Lorelli Nowell.
  • Examining Relationships Between Synchronous and Asynchronous Interactions in an Online Doctoral Research Course. Funded: University of Calgary Teaching and Learning Collaborative Team Grant. Gale Parchoma, Marlon Simmons, Michele Jacobsen. 
  • Creating Adaptive Learning Systems in High School. Funded by Alberta Education. Sharon Friesen, Michele Jacobsen. 
  • An Evaluation of the Impact of CORE on Learners and Learning. Funded by multiple school jurisdictions. Michele Jacobsen, Sharon Friesen. 
  • Early Learning Research: Using Technology to Support Kindergarten to Grade Four Learners. Funded by Alberta Education. Michele Jacobsen, Sharon Friesen, Brenda Gladstone & Candace Saar. 
  • An Investigation of the Use of Clickers to Engage, Monitor and Challenge the Thinking of Student Teachers. Funded by SMART Technologies, Calgary, AB. Michele Jacobsen & Brent Davis
  • Teaching and Learning in a Discipline Based Inquiry One-to-One Mobile Computing Environment. Research funded by Calgary Girls School. Michele Jacobsen & Sharon Friesen
  • Technology and High School Success. Funded by Alberta Education. Stanley Varnhagen, Jason Daniels, Sharon Friesen and Michele Jacobsen


Dr. Michele Jacobsen, PhD (Calgary) is a Professor in the Learning Sciences. Dr. Jacobsen's research and publications focus on design, learning and technology, with grant projects on online faculty development for quality graduate supervision, graduate student peer mentoring, science and technology communication skills, and design based learning, technology and teaching in K-12, post-secondary and health care contexts and classrooms. Dr. Jacobsen has published 48+ peer reviewed articles, 160+ blog posts, 22 book chapters, 42 conference papers, and 2 books. Her 2006 book, "Learning Technology in Continuing Professional Development: The Galileo Network, emerged from her field-based research on leadership, learning, technology and professional development in Alberta schools.  Dr. Jacobsen has supervised 22 doctoral and 10 masters students to the completion of their dissertations and theses. 

Dr. Jacobsen received the 2020 University of Calgary Teaching Award for Graduate Supervision, the 2019 Distinguished Graduate Supervision Award, Werklund School of Education, the 2018 GREAT Supervisor Award from the Faculty of Graduate Studies  the Werklund School of Education 2014 Excellence in Leadership Award, two Werklund School of Education Excellence in Teaching Awards, in 2001 and 2012, and a Students Union Excellence in Teaching Award, Honorable Mention, in 2010.

See web site for more.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Dr. Jacobsen is Program Co-Chair and Vice-President of the Open/Technology in Education, Society, and Scholarship Association (OTESSA), Past President of the Canadian Association for Teacher Education (CATE), Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), on the EdCan Network Board of Directors, a Member of the Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Education and of EdCanada, and she serves on CEA's Awards Committee for the Pat Clifford Early Career Award and Whitworth Career Scholar Award. Michele Jacobsen was Editor of The Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology (CJLT) (2005 - 2010).  Dr. Jacobsen is a member of the following academic and professional organizations: American Educational Research Association (AERA), Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), the Open/Technology in Education, Society, and Scholarship Association (OTESSA), and the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship (SAFS). 


  • Simmons, M., McDermott, M., Eaton, S.E., Brown, B., & Jacobsen, M. (2020, accepted Dec). Reflection as Pedagogy in Action Research. Special Issue: Pedagogical Action Research (PedAR): Researching learning and teaching practice in higher education. Educational Action Research.
  • Oddone-Paolucci E.A., Jacobsen, M., Nowell, L., Freeman, G., Lorenzetti, L., Clancy, T., Paolucci, A., Pethrick, H., & Lorenzetti, D.L. (2020, accepted Dec). An Exploration of Graduate Student Peer Mentorship, Social Connectedness and Wellbeing Across Four Disciplines of Study. Studies in Graduate & Postdoctoral Education.
  • Friesen, S. & Jacobsen, M. (2020, accepted Nov). Collaborative Design of Professional Graduate Programs. International Journal of Designs for Learning. https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/ijdl
  • Pethrick, H., Nowell, L., Oddone-Paolucci, E.A., Lorenzetti, L., Jacobsen, M., Clancy, T., & Lorenzetti, D.L. (2020). Peer Mentoring in Medical Residency Education: A Systematic Review. Canadian Medical Education Journal, 11(6), e128-e137. https://doi.org/10.36834/cmej.68751
  • Lorenzetti, D.L., Nowell, L., Jacobsen, M., Lorenzetti, L., Clancy, T., Freeman, G., & Oddone-Paolucci E.A. (2020). The role of peer mentors in promoting knowledge and skills development in graduate education. Education Research International, 1-9. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/8822289
  • Becker, S., and Jacobsen, M. (2020). Becoming a Maker Teacher: Designing Making Curriculum that Promotes Pedagogical Change. Frontiers in Education: STEM Education, 5, 83. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2020.00083
  • Brown, B., Alonso-Yanez, G., Friesen, S., and Jacobsen, M. (2020). High School Redesign: Carnegie Unit as a Catalyst for Change. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 193, 97-114. Online: https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cjeap/article/view/68066
  • Nowell, L. Ovie, G., Kenny, N., and Jacobsen, M. (2020). Postdoctoral scholar’s perspectives about professional learning and development: A concurrent mixed-methods study. Palgrave Communications, 6(95), 1-11. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-020-0469-5
  • Lambert, D., and Jacobsen, M. (2020). Implementing an Intervention into a Grade Six Learning Environment: A Design-Based Research Framework. EDeR Educational Design Research, 3(1). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15460/eder.3.1.1388
  • Nowell, L. Ovie, G., Kenny, N., Hayden, K., and Jacobsen, M. (2019). Professional learning and development initiatives for postdoctoral scholars. Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, 11(1), 35-55. Online: https://doi.org/10.1108/SGPE-03-2019-0032
  • Bailey, K., and Jacobsen, M. (2019). Connecting theory to practice: Using the Community of Inquiry Theoretical Framework to collaboratively develop library instruction. Journal of Information Literacy, 13(2), 173-195. DOI: https://doi.org/10.11645/13.2.2578
  • Lorenzetti, D.L., Shipton, L., Nowell, L., Jacobsen, M., Lorenzetti, L., Clancy, T., & Oddone-Paolucci, E. A. (2019). A systematic review of graduate student peer mentorship in academia. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 27(5), 549-576.
  • Meyers, G., Jacobsen, M., and Henderson, E. (2019).  Designing an Innovative Professional Development Experience to Build ICP Educational Expertise. Canadian Journal of Infection Control, 34(1), 19-29. Online: https://ipac-canada.org/photos/custom/CJIC/CJIC_Spring2019_Meyers.pdf *2018 Editorial Award
  • Meyers, G., Jacobsen, M., and Henderson, E. (2018).  Understanding ICP Educational Practice: It’s more than meets the eye. Canadian Journal of Infection Control, 33(4), 198-203. Online: https://ipac-canada.org/photos/custom/CJIC/CJIC_Winter_2018_Meyers.pdf *2018 Editorial Award
  • Becker, S., and Jacobsen, M. (2019). “How Can You Build a Model If You Don’t Know the Answer to the Question?”: Developing Student and Teacher Sky Scientist Ontologies Through Making. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, (17), 31-48. Online: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-019-09953-8
  • Meyers, G., Jacobsen, M., and Henderson, E. (2018). Design-Based Research: Introducing an Innovative Research Methodology to Infection Prevention and Control. Canadian Journal of Infection Control, 33(3), 158-164. *2018 Editorial Award
  • Jacobsen, M., McDermott, M., Brown, B., Eaton, S., and Simmons, M. (2018). Graduate students' research based learning experiences in an online Master of Education program. The Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 15(4), 1-18. Online: https://ro.uow.edu.au/jutlp/vol15/iss4/4/
  • Meyers, G., Jacobsen, M., and Henderson, E. (2018). An Exploration of IPAC Educational Intervention Research: What do we mean by education? Canadian Journal of Infection Control, 33(2), 89-95.
  • Alharbi, H., and Jacobsen, M. (2018). Evaluating the Design and Development of the Quality Graduate Supervision miniMOOC. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 19(1), 13-26.
  • Martin,  S., and Jacobsen, M. (2018). Coding and Computational Thinking in Math and Science. Alberta Science Education Journal, 42(2), 17 – 27.
  • Jacobsen, M., Eaton, S., Brown, B., Simmons, M., and McDermott, M. (2018). Action research for graduate program improvements: A response to curriculum mapping and review. The Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 48(1), 82-98. Online: http://journals.sfu.ca/cjhe/index.php/cjhe/article/view/188048
  • Loftus, J. J., Jacobsen, M., & Wilson, T. D. (2018). The Relationship Between Spatial Ability, Cerebral Blood Flow and Learning with Dynamic Images: A Transcranial Doppler Ultrasonography Study. Medical Teacher, 40(2), 174-180. Online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0142159X.2017.1395401
  • Pethrick, H., Nowell, L., Oddone-Paolucci, E., Lorenzetti, L., Jacobsen, M., Clancy, T., Lorenzetti, E. L. (2017). Psychosocial and career outcomes of peer mentorship in medical resident education: A systematic review protocol. BMC Systematic Reviews, 6, 178. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-017-0571-y 
  • Loftus, J. J., Jacobsen, M., & Wilson, T. D. (2017). Learning and assessment with images: A view of cognitive load through the lens of cerebral blood flow. British Journal of Educational Technology, 48(4), 1030-1046.  https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12474
  • Brown, B., & Jacobsen, M. (2016). Principals’ technology leadership: How a conceptual framework shaped a mixed methods study. Journal of School Leadership26(5), 811-836.
  • Alharbi, H., and Jacobsen, M. (2016). Educational Development for Quality Graduate Supervision. Papers on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching, 1(1), 41-46. Online: http://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/pplt
  • Brown, B., Dressler, R., Eaton, S., & Jacobsen, M. (2015). Practicing what we teach: Using action research to learn about teaching action research. Canadian Journal of Action Research, 16(3), 60-77.  Online: http://journals.nipissingu.ca/index.php/cjar/article/view/228
  • Law, S., & Jacobsen, M. (2015). Playing for Climate Change: The Design and Development of a Game Prototype to Promote Scientific Literacy. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 6(1), 72-84. URL: http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/ijdl/article/view/5343 
  • Mazur, A. D., Brown, B, & Jacobsen, M. (2015). Learning Designs using Flipped Classroom Instruction. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 41(2), 1-26. URL: http://www.cjlt.ca/index.php/cjlt/article/view/909  * 2016 CJLT Editor’s Award for Best Article, Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE-RCIE).
  • Francis, K., Jacobsen, M., & Friesen, S. (2014). The use of graphics to communicate findings of longitudinal data in design-based research. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 13, 233-255. URL: http://www.jite.org/documents/Vol13/JITEv13ResearchP233-255Francis0659.pdf
  • Jacobsen, M. (2014). Design based research: Sponsoring innovation in Education. Education Canada, 54(5), 22-24. URL: http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/design-based-research
  • Warrell, J. G., and Jacobsen, M. (2014). Internet Research Ethics and the Policy Gap for Ethical Practice in Online Research Settings. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 44(1). [http://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/cjhe]
  • Daniels, J. S., Jacobsen, M., Varnhagen, S., and Friesen, S. (2014). Barriers to Systemic, Effective and Sustainable Technology Use in High School Classrooms. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology. 39(4). URL:  http://cjlt.csj.ualberta.ca/index.php/cjlt
  • Brown, B., Eaton, S., Jacobsen, M., Roy, S., and Friesen, S. (2013). Instructional Design Collaboration: A Professional Learning and Growth Experience. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 9(3), 439-452. Online: http://jolt.merlot.org/vol9no3/brown_0913.htm
  • Francis-Poscente, K., and Jacobsen, M. (2013). Synchronous Online Collaborative Professional Development for Elementary and Middle School Mathematics Teachers. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 14(3), 319-343. URL: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1460
  • Jacobsen, M., Lock, J., and Friesen, S. (2013). Strategies for engagement: Knowledge building and intellectual engagement in participatory environments. Education Canada, 53(1), 14-18. Retrieved from: http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/strategies-engagement